A Grounded Theory Study on Motivational Development After Detours in Young Adulthood – How Extra-Vocational Training Affects Aspirations

The International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET) recently published a new article. The authors are Monique Landberg (University of Education Weingarten, Germany) and Peter Noack (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany).

Full article (open access): https://doi.org/10.13152/IJRVET.9.1.4


Access to Education, At-Risk Youth, Apprentice, Career Pattern, Educationally Disadvantaged Youth


Context: In the present study, the authors explore what motivates young adults to re-engage with education or employment after a period of non-engagement. Insights into this process facilitate the implementation of tailored support measures for at-risk groups. It is well-known that young people who are not involved in any kind of education, employment, or training face further risks to their professional and psychological development. 

Methods: Using a grounded theory approach, interviews with young adults from various educational tracks were analyzed, compared, and contrasted. The sample was focused mainly on apprentices in extra-vocational training and professionals working with young people to describe the process of re-engaging in detail (n = 30). 

Findings: Our analyses suggested that frustrating prior experiences and offers to participate in government-funded vocational training prompted motivation to learn an occupational skillset. Undergoing an apprenticeship enabled young adults to develop the motivation to finish vocational training and to plan on further education.

Conclusion: The implications of these results as they pertain to Germany’s labor market policies, which foster a sense of individual responsibility to facilitate the achievement of professional success, are discussed. Furthermore, the implications for supporting further educational aspirations when working with young adults are discussed.